When only given 90 seconds to win over an audience, appearance is everything. Many would think that it's easy to 'win' a debate merely by saying what the audience wants to hear but the audience is not a machine that grades a performance fairly. The 4th Republican GOP Debate's audience was composed of hundreds of persons watching the candidates for future president as intensely as they were listening to what they had to say. In comparing Rubio to Carson, one could easily select which candidate most people would recognize as a focused individual and a potential leader without even turning on the sound.
When given the stage in the very beginning of the debate, Carson acknowledges his family in the crowd including his 3-year-old granddaughter. This is a rhetorical move that could prove effective in a less serious climate than a debate taking place during a protest. Carson proceeds to give a very simple description of the minimum wage, speaking very slowly, and it is obvious that he is speaking straight from his beliefs on what happens when you raise the minimum wage. This makes for good logical knowledge that anyone could follow: When the minimum wage goes down, jobs go up and when the minimum wage goes up, jobs go down. Being so straightforward and not just speaking from a rehearsed speech is effective but not when it is delivered in a slurred, almost tired manner. Marco Rubio provides the perfect antithesis to this slow and unenergized performance.
Marco Rubio is given the stage immediately after Carson and acknowledges his family as well, but not in the same way. Rubio uses his parents as background knowledge of himself and as examples of what he envisions America to be, not just people to detract time away from himself. He says that his parents raised four children, including himself, and raised them to be better off and more successful than themselves through hard work, rather than dependently relying on a system to care for their needs. With his words, in this one statement, he simultaneously tells each person in the audience his stance on the minimum wage issue, what he believes in as far as what he will do for the nation's economy, and that he is an example of a successful hardworking American, while Carson only conveyed the first of these three ideas. With his composure, he tells the audience he knows what he is talking about by his confident voice and that he is passionate about what he says by his hand gestures. Carson only managed to let people know that he either is uncomfortable in the debate setting or he was not able to sleep well the night before.